Getting in Shape: the First Step

By: Nadia Ellis

Getting In Shape: The FIRST Step!

The single most important element of any fitness program is "committment". The best equipment along with an awesome routine doesn't do much for you if you're not motivated to exercise on a regular basis. The vast majority of people who join health clubs are not using them one year later. They've got the equipment but they lost the "committment".

The first step in creating a successful workout program is convincing yourself that exercising your body is going to be a good thing. I know that everyone realizes there are great benefits to exercise, yet "knowing" and "believing" are really two different things. Start by making a list of all the benefits you'll receive by beginning a regular fitness program; take time to convince yourself of its benefits. I have given you just some of the general benefits below - see how many more you can add to the list that will help you personally. It takes a big commitment to actually stick with your long-term fitness goals. Without the belief of its benefits you'll find it much more difficult to stay motivated in the long run. Spend some time thinking about and writing down the benefits to you!

There are great benefits to working out that we can tend to overlook until we are called into a doctor's office with something that could have been prevented with a simple lifestyle change.

If you are already working out but see little or no results, you need to change up your routine more often. Maybe make it more intense, do different exercises, mix it up anyway you can to puzzle your body and get it to respond to your new routine. Just like your mind, your body gets bored with the same old routine. It gets "used" to it and after awhile will fail to respond to the same old thing. The more you can confuse your body and its muscles the more it will have to work to adjust to the new and different level of exercise. Your body continues to adjust and as it does you will need to periodically change your routines.

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider working out for health. Yes, I know you've heard these a million times - we all KNOW it, but not many of us are actually DOING it. As you get a bit older, it becomes more important then ever to start your routine. Read through the list, add some ideas of your own and lets get started getting in better shape together!

1. Exercise Improves Your Mood

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk walk can help you de-stress.

2. Exercise Fights Chronic Diseases

Heart disease? Osteoporosis? Regular exercise can help prevent these diseases and more.

3. Exercise Helps You Manage Your Weight

Want to drop those excess pounds? Make small changes by taking the furthest parking spot or walking the stairs instead of taking the escalator.

4. Exercise Strengthens Your Heart and Lungs

Winded by your daily chores? Don't give up. Regular exercise can boost your level of energy and enhance your breathing.

5. Exercise Promotes Better Sleep

Having trouble sleeping? Regular exercise leads to a better sleeping pattern.

6. Exercise can help Put Back the Spark In Your Sex Life

Are you too tired to have sex? Or... feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Exercise can improve muscle tone to increase sexual gratification.

7. Exercise can be Fun!

Looking for something fun for the family to do this weekend? Get physical with an outdoor activity.

Another important step to achieving both happiness and contentment in fitness as well as in life is to believe in yourself. If you have that on your side, you are one step closer to your goal. Believe that you can overcome any obstacle that you are faced with and that you can achieve anything that you want out of life. Believe that you can take on this new challenge to re-shape your body and get fit. I am a firm believer that if you want something bad enough in life, you can go out and get it. Set goals that make you happy! Make it personal. Never change who you truly are for the sake of pleasing others.

So, how do you stay motivated? Try this: After setting your fitness goals, laying out a plan of action and making your committment, begin to ask yourself a hundred times a day, "Is what I am doing or about to do, moving me toward my objectives?" That one single question asked often enough will help remind you everyday of your committments.

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